Thursday, 3 March 2016

Winter Run 10k - Race Report

Marathon training makes you do odd things. Odd things to other people, but things that make perfect sense to people trying to fit in training around their life. This weekend I planned to do an 18 mile training run, but I also had a place in the inaugural Manchester Winter Run 10k. I'd seen the London race all over social media last year and was keen to give it a try, so obviously I ran 9 miles there, ran the 10k race and then ran 3 miles home.

So how was it?

A few races were on offer to runners on Sunday; two 10k waves, a 2,5k and a 5k. Starting near the Eithiad stadium, I was a little apprehensive about the route as previous races I've run there before left a lot to be desired. Whilst this route was better, it was still pretty dull - two laps of a 5k course around the car parks of the Eithiad Stadium, with a lap of the Regional Athletics Running track thrown in for good measure. I've grown to quite like lapped courses as it means you know what's coming and I do understand that these types of route mean little to no road closures, but it wasn't very inspirational. 

What did check the 'inspiration' box however was the atmosphere. Pre-race the DJ reminded us runners that ultimately we were running to raise money for Cancer Research, and I realised that the Race for Life and raising money for this charity is the reason why I got in to running in the first place. Essentially the Winter Run series is the winter version of Race for Life, and a lot of people running both the 5k and 10k had chosen this as their first ever race. There was excitement and a good fun atmosphere.

The race blurb promised 'snow zones', polar bear hugs and a ski themed water station (which if you ask me was placed a little too early in the route, especially for the 5k-ers). I didn't really appreciate the fake snow blowing in my face whilst trying to run and breathe - and I found the offer of a sweaty hug from a stranger at the finish line a little odd, dressed as a polar bear or not. But if you're looking for a first race with a fun and inclusive atmosphere, or something to keep your training ticking over in the cold months, then you could do worse than enter the Winter Run next year.

I was kindly given a free place in the run and they knew I'd be blogging about the race.

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